U.K. unemployment rate rises, but labor market remains tight

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The UK unemployment rate rose slightly over the three months to April, while employment continued to rise in May, suggesting that the slowdown in economic activity has not affected the labor market.

The UK unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in the three months to April, compared with 3.7% in the previous three-month period, according to published data from the National Statistics Office Tuesday.

The number of employees on payroll increased by 90,000 in May, less than in previous months, to a total of 29.6 million. The number of vacancies from March to May rose to a new record of 1.3 million.

Wage growth has stabilized, according to ONS data. Average weekly earnings in the three months to April excluding bonuses rose 4.2% year-on-year, unchanged from January to March. Adjusted for inflation, profits fell 2.2%.

“The high level of bonuses continues to dampen the effects of rising prices on the total income of some workers, but if bonuses are excluded, payment in real terms is falling at a faster rate in more than a decade, “said Sam Beckett, head of the ONS’s economic statistics. dit.

The UK economy contracted for the second month in a row in April, adding to the evidence that the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is faltering amid decades of high inflation.

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at xavier.fontdegloria@wsj.com

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